Hello to you from a rather wet Wendover and thanks for calling by. This past month has been a bit like the Oxford Ring Road, all full of promise and no delivery! Having said that we are all smiles as we seem quite busy with inspections and winter repairs coming in which is much appreciated. Visitors have included Karle and Gaby from Germany on their way to drop off a cloudhopper and a yoghurt pot and RAC van which, it has to said, is far too big. How did we cope with all those special shapes? Flying wise it has been not that brilliant. The ground nearly gets dry and then just as it gets nice and flyable it pours with rain again. Hopeless. Let’s hope for a bit of a drying session. Things though have been on the definite uppers with Alice finally getting married to Jamie. A great wedding day arranged by her goodself and involving a coach and horses and it didn’t even rain that much. Nice to have all the family turn up. Downside is that we are still eating pig from the roast which was a bit larger than we thought it was going to be! Polly the Collie is now into missed puppy mode. She has grown in both stature and confidence so the second stage of training is now in hand. I am rather enjoying long forced marches up the hills with her and reckon I’ll be running the course soon. Fret not as most walks are either after a pint or involve one on the way home! Stopping her jumping up is just about working so please feel free to tell her off if she does and apologies if we don’t catch her in time.
It’s a quite quiet news month but as you would expect there is a bit from the CAA and a plea from the British Balloon & Airship Club’s Landowner Relations Officer to ensure that Sensitive Areas are respected. We have had a local infringement and I can assure you it takes ages to sort out. All done now though. In the article section is the rather late Lindstrand Hopper bottom end bit and the equally long to finish piece on Schwabisch Hall and its connections with the Messerschmitt ME262 and the German WW2 airfield of Hessental. Could have written a book on it! We have stuck some extra piccies at the end. There is a nice bit of Buddhism from Mr Roake for you to ponder over and the first in a series of hints and tips on getting your Private Pilots Licence for balloons this time courtesy of Andy Austin. The events page has now been completely updated with dates and venues now confirmed for the Chiltern Region Maypole Meet. Most of the regions seem to have a policy of welcoming outsiders to their meets and it would be nice to expand the idea. We get visitors to the Black Horse Meets and likewise try to get to a couple of meets further away ourselves. We’ll have to work on this I reckon. The yard tap what we use for the kettle finally decided to break the other day and there’s a report on the event in the news somewhere along with Sue the Lorry’s outing to RAF Halton (that’s how quiet the news desk is!).
Now Pete the Farmer has finally got away to his new home on Arran and taken his horsebox with him the Dark barn is looking a lot emptier. We need a day or two sorting to get it working again but suffice to say we can now get to the heap of bikes that need sorting and MOTing. Work on 'The Breeze' is continuing with a few more jobs than envisaged needing doing. Turns out the buckle in the rear wheel is worse than we thought. OK for the shorter hop but a bit wobbly for longer runs. The handlebars are well twisted so we’ll see if we can get some Vincent straight bars for it and at same time sort the front end wiring. This means converting to 12 volts. Easy enough done with a new regulator. The new front mudguard looks naff so on will go an old ali one. That really will upset the purists. Barry is busy scratching his head trying to decide what to do with his other two Guzzis now he is loving his California. Seems that already there is too much to do again despite having a serious thin out. Did I mention the soles on my new shiny Army boots fell to bits within a week? I didn’t? Well they did, must be all the marching with me dog! Thanks again for visiting and please have a wander around and I hope you find something to make you smile or calm you down. Our best regards Chris, John, Jane and Polly the Collie.